Waste not, Want not…

Taking part in the OWOP challenge forced me to admit that my first Ginger, see here, was ready to be put out to pasture. I’d attempted to resurrect it once, see here, but it hadn’t really worked out that well 😦

Still, rather than bin it (it was way past the charity bag stage), I thought I’d attempt to turn it into a skirt for my daughter. Nothing ventured…

I simply unpicked the zip (possibly to use again?), cut off the waistband and sewed up the back seam a little higher. Then roughly following the very first skirt patterns I ever made, I turned under the top edge just a little and stitched. Next,using the width of my elastic as a guide, I folded again to form my waistband, sewing it down but leaving a small gap to insert the elastic through. Lastly, I inserted the elastic, pulling it through with a safety pin, and finished up the gap. My daughter was keen to add a little extra detail, so we picked a small mouse patch (Β£1.99 for three from H and M) to stitch to the bottom, right hand corner. And here it is…

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This conversion from mum-skirt to daughter-skirt took me all of an hour. I’m really pleased with it and so is my daughter. While she’s still a lot smaller than me (and that really won’t be for long, even at the age of six, she’s catching me fast) this is something I’ll definitely try again. The perfect play skirt πŸ™‚

The Perfect Length

One of the best things about learning to sew your own clothes is finally getting clothes that fit you. Well, most of the time! I’m clearing choosing to overlook my last make πŸ˜‰ Being five foot two and a very important half inch, never is this more true than with length.

I forced myself to do a mini-wardrobe-clearout over the weekend. I do a full one every six months or so when I swap over from my Winter to Summer wardrobe (or vice versa). I always have to assure my husband that this is perfectly normal behaviour, the half of my wardrobe not in use being carefully stowed away in airtight boxes in our garage. He’s not convinced, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who couldn’t possibly have everything out at once, unless anyone’s lucky enough to have a walk in wardrobe or dedicated spare room for just this purpose. Sigh, maybe one day….

Anyway I came across three skirts that I hesitate over every time. All RTW, here they are…

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From left to right we have vintage Boden (I’m emotionally attached to this as I wore it to my wedding rehearsal and I remember the vicar commenting on the print. It’s our tenth anniversary this week so it’s pretty darn old). Second up is a never-been-worn M and S pencil skirt which I love, but just haven’t got round to altering as it’s clearly much more fun creating something new from scratch πŸ™‚ And lastly a vintage Reiss skirt I purchased from eBay, which much though I love the heavy fabric and tie detail, is also seriously unflattering.

All they each needed was shortening. I seriously can’t believe I wore the first, it’s such an unflattering length on me! Anyway I forced myself, and them, for the chop! The most flattering skirt length on me is about an inch above the knee. I can go a bit shorter in Winter with the aid of opaque tights, but anything shorter on me for Summer I know, just won’t get worn.

Sticking carefully to my ‘I must sew slower’ mantra, I carefully pinned each skirt to the correct length, measured, chalked, cut, then copying the original hemline technique, finally hemmed. All three were lined and two involved handsewing to create a blind hem, so the overall effort required was pretty time consuming, but worth it to get three perfectly wearable skirts for free. And handsewing in the afternoon sun is surely not the worst Β way of spending an hour or so?

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And here they are post-chop! Not the most exciting of sews, but I’m sure I’m still learning something just examining and then duplicating different hemming techniques. I’m also seriously loving using my recently discovered ‘over edge foot’ which I now feel I’ve mastered. The Boden ‘Bon Voyage’ print was just too pretty to get rid of, so I sewed up a quick headscarf for my daughter, loosely based on Tilly’s Brigitte scarf.

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She was clearly pretty pleased with it πŸ™‚ What’s your perfect skirt length?

Versatile Blogger Award

The lovely Hannah from Hannah Moitt Makes has nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much Hannah, and I’m happy to pass on the baton πŸ™‚ And my apologies for taking so long to put this together. It’s been a mad busy couple of weeks…

Just like The Liebster Award, The Versatile Blogger award is a way for bloggers to get to know one another and to share their favourite recently discovered blogs. If you choose to accept your nomination there are a few rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back to their blog

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Nominate 15 other versatile bloggers

4. Tell the bloggers that you nominated them

So here’s everything you ever wanted to know about me πŸ˜‰ Please do feel free to skip over to my nominated blogs, not sure there are 7 interesting things about me, this took some thinking…

1. I’m an English teacher who actually loves their job, a rare thing indeed!

2. I used to, very briefly, be an accountant! I very quickly saw the light….

(Apologies to any accountants who stumble across this! Both my brother and sister-in-law are both accountants and lovely people πŸ˜‰ )

3. The older I’ve got, the more part time I’ve chosen to work (probably why I still enjoy it) – a lot less money granted, but it means I get to keep my sanity, and it gives me more time to sew…

4. My favourite snack is peanut butter on toast

5. Β Growing up my favourite band was The Cure, these days while I still love a bit of Robert Smith, you’re more likely to find me singing along to Coldplay, clearly a sign of my age.

6. I love visiting the theatre. Last night I saw ‘The Tempest’ live from The Globe at my local cinema (seriously, these live streamings are fantastic, if you get the chance, do go see one) and tomorrow I’m heading down to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see ‘Henry IV’ with my school (again I love my job).

7. And finally, if anyone’s still awake… I was once the tallest pupil in my primary school, a fact I’m very proud of, even though clearly I haven’t grown all that much since…

Much more of interest are my nominations for this award. It’s taken me ages to trawl through and check actual names and if people already had this award or not. My sincere apologies to anyone I’ve missed out or any incorrect information. I’ve plumped for the blogs I’ve followed the longest and who I’ve had the most recent contact with…

My nominations are…

For expertise and plenty of inspiration for perfecting a beautiful finish I’m nominating both Barbara at barbarajanemade over in Canberra, Australia and Sharon from petiteandsewing.blogspot.

For oodles of inspiration, both prolific sewers, I’m nominating Teri of farsewla.wordpress and fellow teacher Chris at handmadebychris.wordpress.

For beautiful dress inspiration head on over to Amanda at sewdeputy.wordpress. Kyla, the animal-loving Air Force pharmacist (now that’s a mouthful!) at kylachristine.wordpress and Erika at rejoicefortheday.com both blog about both sewing and life in general.

Fellow, relative newbies theecleticseamstress.com, Becky from springystitches.wordpress, thesewingfrenchie.wordpress and smeebotsews.wordpress are all well worth a look if you’re a beginner too, like me.

Almost there…

Louise from sewsensational.wordpress, Caroline from carolinejoynson.blogspot and Beth from AfterDarkSewing.wordpress, all three based in the Uk.

And finally my favourite name for a blog, probably because of my daughter’s name, is Jay of thesewingwren.wordpress.

Phew! That took some compiling. Hopefully you might find something of interest too,

Teresa x.